Rance Howard

Rance Howard

Birth name: Harold Rance Beckenholdt
Born: November 17, 1928
Age: 95
Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
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Rance Howard (born November 17, 1928) is an American actor who has starred in film and on television.


Early life

Howard was born Harold Rance Beckenholdt in Duncan, Oklahoma, the son of Ethel Cleo (née Tomlin) and Engel Beckenholdt, a farmer. He changed his name to "Rance Howard" when he became an actor. He married actress Jean Speegle Howard in Burbank, California in 1949. Their sons are actor/director Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard. He is also the grandfather of actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard. His son Ron was born while he served three years in the United States Air Force.

Acting career

Howard attended the University of Oklahoma, where he went to drama school. His professional acting career began in 1948 when he went to New York City, auditioned and landed a job in a children's touring company. The role that got him noticed nationally TV and film was playing the part of Lindstrom in the touring company of the play Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda in 1950, playing the character for about a year-and-a-half in major cities across the U.S.

Both Rance and oldest son Ron, who was 2 at the time, made their feature film debuts together in the 1956 western Frontier Woman. Later in the 1950s, Rance's roles included his TV debut in the series Kraft Theatre, on which he appeared three times in 1956-57.

After son Ron went on to play Opie in The Andy Griffith Show in the early 1960s, Rance had guest parts in five episodes of the show. Howard was known best for his role on television in 25 episodes of the 1960s TV series Gentle Ben—which starred his youngest son Clint—as Henry Broomhauer, a backwoodsman who befriended the family. Another well-known TV role was on Babylon 5, in which he had a recurring role as David Sheridan, the father of Babylon 5 captain John Sheridan. He also starred in the short-lived 2000 TV series Driving Me Crazy. His television guest appearances include Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Kung Fu, The Waltons, CBS Schoolbreak Special 1986 episode "The Drug Knot", Angel, 7th Heaven, Cold Case, That's So Raven, and two appearances on Seinfeld (both as different characters). On The Waltons, Howard portrayed Dr. McIver in five different episodes, one of which included Ron.

Howard has acted in over 100 films, including the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke, The Music Man (in an uncredited bit part playing "Oscar Jackson"), and many other films. He also appeared as Dottie and Kit's father in A League of Their Own. In 2013, he played Woody Grant's brother in Nebraska. He often takes parts as a priest or minister, county sheriff, or western marshal, and has made numerous appearances in films by Joe Dante.

Howard has acted in most of his son Ron's films including Splash, Cocoon, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man and Frost/Nixon. The exceptions are Night Shift, Willow, Backdraft, Ransom, EDtv, and The Da Vinci Code.



Year Film Role Other notes
1967 Cool Hand Luke Sheriff Uncredited
1967 Gentle Giant Tater Coughlin
1974 Chinatown Irate Farmer
1974 Where the Lilies Bloom Roy Luther
1977 Grand Theft Auto Ned Slinker Directed by son Ron
1978 Cotton Candy Mr. Bremmercamp Directed by son Ron
1984 The Lonely Guy Minister
Splash McCollough Directed by son Ron
1985 Cocoon St. Petersburg Detective Directed by son Ron
The Long Hot Summer Wilk
1986 Gung Ho Mayor Conrad Zwart Directed by son Ron
1987 Innerspace Supermarket Customer
1989 The 'Burbs Detective #2
Parenthood Dean at College Directed by son Ron
1992 Far and Away Tomlin Directed by son Ron
Universal Soldier John Devreux
1992 Ticks Sheriff Parker
1994 Ed Wood Old Man McCoy
Little Giants Minister
The Paper Alicia's Doctor Directed by son Ron
1995 Apollo 13 Reverend Directed by son Ron
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest Eddie Calhoun
1996 Ghosts of Mississippi Ralph Hargrove
Independence Day Chaplain
Mars Attacks! Texan Investor
Sgt. Bilko Mr. Robbins
1997 Traveller Farmer
1998 Small Soldiers Husband
Psycho Mr. Lowery
2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas Elderly Timekeeper Directed by son Ron
2001 A Beautiful Mind White-Haired Patient Directed by son Ron
A Crack in the Floor Floyd Fryed
Joe Dirt Bomb Squad Cop
Rat Race Feed the Earth Spokesman
2002 Back by Midnight Priest
D-Tox Geezer
2003 The Missing Telegraph Operator Directed by son Ron
2004 The Alamo Governor Smith
Eulogy Lance Sommers
2005 Cinderella Man Announcer Al Fazin Directed by son Ron
2007 Georgia Rule Dog Bite Man
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Preacher
2008 Drillbit Taylor Older Man
Frost/Nixon Ollie Directed by son Ron
2009 Angels & Demons Cardinal Beck Directed by son Ron
2010 Jonah Hex Telegrapher
Valentine's Day Bistro Gardens Diner
2011 The Dilemma Burt Directed by son Ron
Spooky Buddies Mr. Joseph Johnson
2013 Nebraska Uncle Ray
The Lone Ranger Engineer


Year Title Role Other Notes
1956-1957 Kraft Television Theatre Various 3 episodes
1958 How to Marry a Millionaire Corporal 1 episode
1959 Bat Masterson Fletcher 1 episode
1962-1964 The Andy Griffith Show Various 4 episodes
1966 That Girl Customer #2 1 episode
1966 The Virginian Luka 1 episode
1967 The Monroes Al 1 episode
1967-1969 Gentle Ben Henry Boomhauer 13 episodes
1970 Then Came Bronson Mr. Carl Mueller 1 episode
1971 Night Gallery Cameraman 1 episode
1971-1972 Bonanza Sam/Bogardus 2 episodes
1968 The F.B.I. Ranger 1 episode
1969 Kung Fu Sheriff Byrd 1 episode
1973-1975 The Waltons Dr. McIvers 5 episodes
1974 Gunsmoke Frank Benton 1 episode
1976-1979 Happy Days Announcer/Ben Wilson/Mr. Burkhart 3 episodes
1977 Little House on the Prairie Simpson 1 episode
1978 Battlestar Galactica Farnes 1 episode
1979 Laverne & Shirley Doctor 1 episode
1981 Mork & Mindy Guard 1 episode
1983 The Thorn Birds Doctor Miniseries
1984 Dynasty Gifford 1 episode
1984 Murder, She Wrote Fillmore 1 episode
1986 A Smoky Mountain Christmas Doctor
1989-1992 Baywatch Fireman/Joe 2 episodes
1989 B.L. Stryker Richard Walton 1 episode
1991 Quantum Leap Ring Doctor 1 episode
1993 Coach Herman Van Dam 1 episode
1993-1996 Seinfeld Blind Man/Farmer 2 episodes
1994 Diagnosis Murder Driver 1 episode
1996-1997 Babylon 5 David Sheridan 3 episodes
1996-1997 Married... with Children Edwin/Reverend 2 episodes
1996 Melrose Place Motel Manager 1 episode
1998 Clueless Mr. Bell 2 episodes
1998 Two of a Kind Mr. Fillmore 2 episodes
1999 Just Shoot Me! Blind Flower Guy 1 episode
2000 7th Heaven Old Man in Park 1 episode
2001 Angel Marcus Roscoe/Angel 1 episode
2004 Cold Case Buddie 1 episode
2004 That's So Raven Murphy 1 episode
2005 Ghost Whisperer Dirk Abrams 1 episode
2006 CSI: NY Samuel Cooper 1 episode
2009 ER Dr. Oliver Kostin 1 episode
2009 Lie to Me Joe Metz 1 episode
2011 Workaholics Jerry 1 episode
2012 Grey's Anatomy Martin Carroll 1 episode
2013 NCIS: Los Angeles Eugene 1 episode
2014 Bones Jerold Norsky 2 episodes
2014 Kroll Show Dr. Stanley Armond 1 episode
2014 Review Willie 1 episode
2016 The X-Files Old Man 1 episode

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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